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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

DATING/RELATIONSHIP: Focus on My Relationship or Myself?
Letter #: 390828
Category: Dating/Relationship

Original Letter

I've been dating my boyfriend for just over six months and I realize that that is not a long time at all but I honestly feel like I could spend the rest of my life with him. He introduces me to new things and makes me a better person and he listens to me and I feel so cared about by him. But he just told me that he is seriously considering moving to California in June. He is currently a freshman in college and I am a senior in high school. I plan on going to a college on the north side of Chicago. He goes to Elmhurst college and not even a week ago we were talking about renting a house with a few other people next school year. If he moves to california I will be heart broken, even if we try to have a long distance relationship I just don't know if he would be willing to try that and even if we did try it if it would work out.

So my question is basically, banking on the fact that him moving to california might not even happen, should I focus on my schooling and move to the northside or should I move in with him and commute to school? And if he moves to california should I go with him? I talked to my dad about it and he said I should be focusing on myself right now and that Im young and that everyone gets into a relationship when they're young that they think will last forever but it won't. While I totally understand that I just want a second opinion or any kind of advice because I honestly feel like I could spend the rest of my life with him and he just told me about California a few days ago but I haven't stopped crying and I feel like I would only be this emotional about that if I really loved him and I don't want to walk away from our relationship .

Elder Response

I can understand how emotionally conflicted you must feel right now. You have been in the relationship long enough to believe that your feelings are telling you something you should pay attention to. But, as frequently happens to people your age, life is getting in the way.

I have to say that I think that your father gave you good advice.  Six months is a good start, but not really long enough to make major changes in your life in the belief that this relationship is going to be the "one." You and he need more time together before you can make big decisions about your future.

It doesn't sound like you and he have had a chance to sit down and talk about the situation, and that is the logical next step. It will be important for you both to agree to be honest and open about your feelings and hopes for the future. Moving in together is a huge commitment and I would caution you about making that kind of commitment before you have the opportunity to experience college first.

College is a wonderful time to meet all sorts of different people and to be exposed to people and activities that are new to you. To limit your ability to participate fully in all that college has to offer would be a mistake.  It doesn't mean that you can't continue your relationship, if that is what you and he decide, but you can continue to see where this relationship is going without moving in together.

Sarah, I understand how strong the emotions you are feeling right now are, but you owe it to yourself to take a bit of a step back so that you can make the decision that makes the most sense given the circumstances. It is a cliché, but true, that if you and he are meant to be together, you will end up together. In the meantime, I think that you should do the same thing that your boyfriend has done, which is to think about what your life goals are and how you can best meet those goals. That means that your education comes first, and your will figure out over time whether or not you and your boyfriend are going to be together for the long run.

It is natural to panic a bit if you fear that you might lose someone who is important to you. But, it is important to keep yourself from reacting to that fear by jumping into something that you may not be ready for.

Sarah, as hard as it may be, sometimes the smartest thing to do is to do nothing. Take a step back and allow life to unfold as it will. Moving in with someone at your age will force you to bypass opportunities that may not come again. Let yourself trust that you will know when the time is right to make such a commitment to someone else.

I wish you the very best. It doesn't necessarily sound like this is an "either/or" situation. Find a middle ground that you and he can both be comfortable with.

Best Regards,



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